The Corvallis High School musical theatre class is hosting a production of melodramas in two parts. Part one will be the shorts “Unhand Her, You Villain” and “The Shagwood Secret” at 6:30 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 19, in the CHS mini-theatre. 

“Return with us to an older, simpler time, when men were men, women were women, and evil-doers were easily identified by handlebar mustaches,” said director Nancy Brown. “The performances will give the audience a chance to throw popcorn at the villain and cheer on our hero as he rescues are damsel in distress.”

Brown said the Musical Theatre class introduces students to musical selections, costumes, properties, makeup, music, stage, scene, lighting, and sound design.

For the production, the master and mistress of ceremonies are veteran actors Nathaniel Heckeroth and Zoe Brouwer. The production will have short olio acts, a short song or dance made famous in vaudeville, with actors by Brouwer, Heckeroth, Tatum Breedlove, Jackson Tully and Faith Thayer.

“Unhand Her, You Villain” was written by Ray Hamby, directed by Makayla Ledford, Actors are Shyanne Fisch (Perdita), Macy Jacobson (Henry), Austin Mowat (Squire), Sammy Shegrud (Widow) and Danielle Coates (Agnes). Sign holders are Mikaylin Brickley, Sabrina Goodnight and Reigan Hallock.

“Unhand Her, You Villain” is a spoof based on the life of Henry L. Mencken, one of America’s great newspapermen. The plot is an idealistic young reporter takes on the villainous editor of a weekly newspaper.

“The Shagwood Secret: Double Deal at the Dirty Dog Saloon” was written by Teddy Keller and directed by Olivia Fehr. Actors are Justin Catanach (Ethelburt), Jaida McConnell (Chloe), Darius Nisly (Snake), Vivian Moon (Delores), Alis Auch (Cyril) and sign holders Sarah Goodnight, Aurora Reeseman and Winter Wise.

The plot is Snake Diamond realizes he owns a mountain of gold, but his only interests are his horse and his ranch until Delores lavishes her attention upon him. There is danger, an heiress, a lost relative and a happily ever after when ‘The Shagwood Secret’ is revealed.

Junior Tatum Breedlove said, “Melodramas are such a fun way to gain experience as actors. And who doesn’t love a great happy ending?”

Makayla Ledford said, “Being on stage is a great opportunity to be someone other than yourself. It is also a blast to see the villain get what he deserves and the hero recognized for being just that.”

Sophomore Sammy Shegrud said, “Acting is a way to express something that you won’t usually say or do. It pulls you out of your comfort zone and pushes you to your limits. It’s just a blast!”

“Nothing is funnier than quirky jokes,” said Winter Wise.

Brown said the melodrama class is ready for the excitement of production in front of a live audience.

“They are excited to have the audience throw popcorn at the villains, cheer on the heroes and experience “olio” acts provided within the confines of the actual show,” she said.

Junior Faith Thayer said, “From the opening curtain until the final blackout, everyone knows that the curse of evil will be tossed to the side by the heart of justice and that our hero and heroine will prove that love conquers all.”

“So, knowing all of this why should anyone want to see such a predictable play?” Thayer asked. “The answer is as simple as the storyline itself; melodrama is fun theatre.”

Tickets are $5 and sold at the door.

Corvallis High School Musical Theatre will present Part 2, the second night of melodrama, on Jan. 12 with two plays, “A Night of Melodrama” and “The Pony Expresso.”

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